ICMSA welcome stress on Food Security as Belgium assume EU Presidency

As Belgium assumes the EU Presidency till June 23 of this year, ICMSA has welcomed that state’s announcement that food security will take ‘centre stage’ in their direction of food and agricultural policy. Noting that the work program announced by Belgium stressed a commitment to reducing the EU’s dependency on third countries for certain strategic resources  – widely interpreted as meaning food – ICMSA President Denis Drennan said that the move was a long overdue recognition of both the precarious nature of current EU indigenous food production and supply and would be interpreted as ‘blowing cold’ on any prospect of a Mercosur Agreement that would open the way towards environmentally destructive importation of greater volumes of South American beef. Mr. Drennan said that nothing was more fundamental to confidence and stability than the knowledge that high standard food could be sourced easily and locally and at affordable prices. That, he noted, had to be the starting point for any discussion around the future of food supply and the farming that underpinned that.


“Any farmers that read the Belgian program will be encouraged and we’d certainly recommend that Irish policymakers made themselves familiar with the context that the Belgians establish – it seems a great deal more coherent than anything we have come up with in this state. It’s very noticeable how the Belgian document sets out bluntly that the “costs, benefits and risks” of transitioning to a sustainable food system should be shared across the food chain, ensuring, in their words, that farmers are “fairly compensated” for their sustainability efforts and receive social recognition. Farmers will not have to be told about the scale of difference that represents to our own situation where we still have yet to hear a senior Government figure summon up the courage to tell consumers straight that everyone – including the consumers themselves – is going to have to pay something towards the costs of the historic transition to low emission food production”, said Mr. Drennan.

Ends      5 January 2024  

Denis Drennan, 086-8389401

President, ICMSA.


Cathal MacCarthy, 087-6168758

ICMSA Press Office